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Category Archive for 'Big Questions'

A special friend sent me this and it has some thoughtful images about a life worth sharing. Life is like a journey on a train…with its stations…with changes of routes…and with accidents! At birth we boarded the train and met our parents, and we believe they will always travel on our side. However, at some […]

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Click here for printer friendly copy. When I get a chance to speak to faith groups, and I would count you folks here today as people of faith, I often like to ask two questions: 1) Do you believe everything Jesus teaches in the New Testament? 2) Do you have an unwavering and certain faith? […]

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While I was wandering around the Internet this week preparing for my homily, I stumbled across this article in The Catholic World Report with the above-noted title. The author started this article with this observation about faith from Pope Francis at last summer’s World Youth Day: Papa Francisco is full of surprises….This This summer; he […]

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Click here to listen to Kelley Mooney’s story about how she came to write  this version of Hallelujah using the music of Leonard Cohen. She adapted it to tell the story of the Passion and Resurrection. (Sorry you will have skip the ad that proceeds the video.) The lyrics are below: “Hallelujah”  adapted by Kelly […]

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Pope Francis early in his pontificate  decided to let both his words and actions speak. Many of the faithful were shocked when he left the walls of the Vatican on Holy Thursday to wash the feet of young prisoners. The shock was even more seismic in nature because he washed the feet of a Muslim […]

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When I was much younger, I was fascinated by James Burke and his quirky show called Connections. He had a unique way to answer the question: How did we get here? Wherever here might be. I will be giving the homily on Holy Thursday and for some reason, James Burke came into my mind as […]

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In this short video Dr. Brown illustrates why empathy trumps sympathy. While empathy may be the better thing it is also the harder thing which is why many of opt for the road more easily traveled. Empathy and sympathy are not just two different approaches to confronting the emotional challenges of others; they are diametrically […]

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Some Wisdom from our friends over at  KarmaTube: Some days, you need to remind yourself about what’s truly important in life. So sit back with a cup of your favorite beverage and give yourself a few minutes to savor this sweet video, which gives you a prescription for happiness in two minutes, starting with “show […]

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Here are the top five regrets of the dying, as witnessed by Bonnie Ware that was referenced in TedTalk by Kathleen Taylor: 1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. “This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that […]

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I am off to a talk tomorrow about dying. That may not sound like a great way to spend an afternoon but it is death that gives life meaning I suppose. There would seem to nothing more futile than an immortal human exsistence. I ran across this 10 minute talk by Kathleen Taylor. Grab a […]

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Here is a powerful video which is self-explanatory. It is all the more meaningful given that we live in an era of designer everything including babies and “Tiger Moms” where perfection and achievement is the only standard. A special thanks to those parents who raise some of our most special kids.

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The story of Jesus in the desert has resulted in many different interpretations. Yesterday I posted a reflection from Fr. Richard Rohr. Below is and insightful look at one possible meaning for this encounter between Jesus and a very cleaver fallen angel. “After his Baptism of penance in the Jordan, when he takes upon himself […]

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The following interpretation of the three great tests Jesus faces in this week’s gospel is adapted from Fr. Richard Rohr’s book Radical Grace: The First Temptation The first temptation of Christ was to turn stones into bread (Matthew 4:3). Sounds good, but this is likely our need to be immediately impressive and effective, successful, relevant, […]

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There are a many things that are important if one is to truly understand the teachings of Jesus the Christ. One of those is that we need to become comfortable with metaphors. Here is one definition of the word “metaphor”: Here are a few metaphors Jesus uses to describe the Kingdom of Heaven: ·       A […]

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I am testing some new software that I hope will make it easier to post using my iPad.

If we pause to look beneath the surface of a few of Francis’ most celebrated moments, his challenge is clear.

When he embraced the young man with severe disabilities, he was calling on the world to change its approach to how we value human life by putting the most vulnerable at the center. To do so, each of us needs to become more vulnerable ourselves. That’s not easy or comfortable.

When he washed the feet of a Muslim convict, he was calling on the world to end the scourge of discrimination. To do so, each of us needs to face our own prejudices, be they ethnic, social or personal — and most prejudices are deeper than many of us care to admit.

When he invited the homeless to his home for his birthday, Francis was calling on the world to end the gulf that separates those who have from those who have almost nothing. To do so, the guest list at almost every party in Washington would have to change. Those who have no need for power over others should have an urgent longing to welcome those who are victims of power. Most of us have a lot of work to do to achieve that level of solidarity.

The initial praise for Francis may not endure. Prophets often enjoy popularity until people hear the full depth of their challenge. People on the political right are already distrustful because the pope, like many mystics, seems to be abandoning certainty and trusting in the spirit that “blows where it will.” Order and control are at risk. The layers of conformity are being peeled away and what might emerge is uncertain.

But the left should be equally nervous because the spirit also invites a firm faith in the divine. It is not elitist. It is not arrogant. It does not come with doctorates in policy and economics and the sciences. It dethrones every kind of power. Its only principle is life—the more vulnerable the more beautiful. It only makes sense with an embrace of faith.

It is that faith in the goodness of God and that freedom in the spirit that are at the heart of Francis’ example—the man of God who embraces those with disabilities, those with no home, those who are strangers among us. Beware, lest we miss the full challenge to each of us of a faith like his.

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